Social Media in Aging Services – Important Considerations
- Connect residents with families, families with staff, and staff with residents
- Get found when individuals are looking for opportunities
- Manage your online reputation
- Who will manage social media – Staffing issues and staffing turnover
- Understanding and maintaining HIPPA and privacy policies
- Monitoring and managing the conversations
Social Media in Aging Services | Benefits
Connect Residents, Families & Staff
Social media has been a proven resource when it comes to family members keeping up with events and activities their aging loved ones participate in. Residents can use also social media to communicate with staff, and staff members with resident’s family members.
In addition, more and more seniors are realizing that social media is an effective tool when it comes to keeping up with what is going on in the lives of loved ones. It also makes for more frequent and comfortable conversations between generations.
Get Found In Online Search
With increasing competition comes an increase in the difficulties of being found online. Building a website for your organization, by itself, is no longer sufficient when it comes to search engine rankings. In addition to the website content, status updates on social media are now impacting search engine rankings more than ever before.
SEO typically consists of two major pieces; on-site SEO, which is essentially the critical elements of a website (aka the infrastructure) and off-site SEO, which typically consists of content marketing, blogging, social media content, online press releases, and any other form of ongoing digital marketing efforts.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Online reviews and reputation comments serve two purposes:
- An opportunity for individuals who are doing online searches to get other’s opinions
- Yet another benefit to local SEO (search engine optimization)
Obtaining, managing, and responding to online reviews and comments has become critical for aging services organizations because local search now includes both the individual’s reviews and the organization’s responses to those reviews in their search engine algorithms.
Social Media in Aging Services | Challenges
Everyone Wears Too Many Hats
Generally speaking, staff within aging services communities often wear multiple hats and as a result, social media is viewed as a low priority in terms of other things that need to be done. And maintaining a social media presence is a lot of work. Having an effective social media strategy in place consists of content that inspires audience engagement, improves community outreach and business partnerships, offers a source of information and education, and even boosts search engine ranking for the community website to be found during Internet searches.
If finding dedicated and knowledgable staff in your organization who can dedicate at least 20-25% of their time solely on implementing and managing your social media presence is a challenge, consider outsourcing the job.
HIPPA And Privacy Policies
Social media’s internal and external policies are designed to protect the residents, staff, and integrity of the conversation on social media channels. Creating an internal social media policy helps your employees understand the balance between sharing their thoughts and opinions on their own social media channels as well as the channels owned by the organization and also to protect the privacy, identity, and security of the residents within those organizations.
Creating social media policies helps your staff and audience better understand what types of content, messages, comments, etc. that will be acceptable on your social media profiles.
Monitor and Manage Conversations
The number of aging services organizations adopting social media into their online marketing strategy continues to grow. They are engaging, having conversations, providing support, and spreading the word about their service. You should be too.
Aging services communities are already doing everything when it comes to running their business. Once you commit to social media, you have to be active on it. You can’t simply establish a presence and expect that it will produce results – It just doesn’t work that way. Your followers expect you to be engaged.
There’s a lot that goes into being successful on social media – way more work than someone could do as a “side project.” This is especially true in light of all the changes and trends that are cropping up in the social media world all the time. We recommending hiring a dedicated social media manager to manage your accounts, keep your profiles current, stay on top of trends, post great content, manage the conversation, and do a whole lot of experimenting.